Add Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Kobe Bryant‘s list of “doubters”.
In an interview with CBS Sports Radio, The Captain said that this is a “rebuilding year” for the Lakers and he doesn’t expect the Black Mamba to be the same when he returns from his Achilles injury.
Here’s the transcript, via Ken Berger of CBS Sports:
[pullquote]“It’s a rebuilding year for them because Kobe has been hurting and he has a very devastating type of injury,” Abdul-Jabbar said in a recorded interview that aired Thursday on CBS Sports Radio’s morning show with Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson. “I don’t think he will be able to come back as quickly and completely as he would like. It’s gonna be tough on the Lakers this year.”
Then, Abdul-Jabbar hit the Lakers with a dose of reality, a grim possibility that no Lakers fan would want to contemplate.
“When Kobe does come back, it’s gonna be a different Kobe and that will definitely effect the outcome for the Lakers long-term,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “… It’s gonna be a test for him this year, absolutely.”[/pullquote]
Either Kareem is just speaking the truth, or he’s trying to motivate Bryant – you thought a 12th seed prediction got Kobe mad? Well, how about using the “r” word – rebuilding?
While Kareem’s prediction may seem plausible in any normal situation, we all know that Bryant isn’t normal. As Abdul-Jabbar’s old teammate Magic Johnson explained recently, the Lakers will only go as far as Kobe Bryant takes them, and knowing the Black Mamba, he’ll be focussed on taking them all the way no matter how impossible it seems.